A British soldier in Afghanistan who was shot in the head by the Taliban had a lucky escape when the bullet became lodged in his helmet.
Lance Corporal Iain Maynard, 24, was sent flying 6ft by the force of the blast but was left with nothing more serious than whiplash, according to a military statement.
The incident happened while L/Cpl Maynard, of 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, was on a routine patrol to look for improvised explosive devices in Nad-e-Ali, Helmand Province, on Tuesday.
While under fire from insurgents, he was hit in the head and thrown to the ground.
But when his fellow soldiers came to help him they were amazed to see the bullet had embedded itself in his helmet, with just the tip sticking through into the inside.
L/Cpl Maynard, from Lincoln, said: "Literally out of nowhere I got shot in the helmet. I wasn't knocked out by the initial force of it but it knocked me straight onto my back.
"I knew I had been shot in the head but that was about it.
"It hit me about 2cm above my left eye, so I'm pretty lucky really. It only just penetrated the helmet so I have a very small cut on my forehead.
"I was completely disorientated on the floor. I took my helmet off and looked at it and thought, 'that was close'. I tried to stand up but couldn't so I was taken out of there."
Major Chris Wright, a doctor with the Royal Army Medical Corps, was the first to see L/Cpl Maynard when he was flown back to the field hospital at Camp Bastion, the main British base in Helmand.
He said: "We were ready with the full trauma team stood to. But when he came in we could see he was talking and he was calm.
"There was no sign of any head injury. We did a double take and had to check he was the right patient.
"This is one very lucky man. A few millimetres lower and it would have been a very different outcome."Reuse content